Sue Webster in front of her new work The Crime Scene Courtesy Louisa Buck
Sue Webster has always been something of a shape shifter. When working with her former husband Tim Noble, their various self-portrayals included sparring boxers, naked Neanderthals, tattooed Hells Angels and the besuited fellow artist duo Gilbert & George. Then there was the multitude of uncanny shadow portraits cast by myriad piles of household rubbish and seemingly random objects—banknotes, splinters of wood, taxidermied animals—that became the artist duos trademark.
Now solo, Webster continues to be a woman of many parts, and one who has lost none of her desire to work with found objects. But with her new book, installation and home, she is resolutely using her own material and on her own terms.
Front cover of Webster's new book I was a Teenage Banshee Courtesy Louisa Buck
Last Thursday, a crowd of artist friends and admirers—including Gary Hume, Fiona Banner, Georgina Starr and the cult DJ Princess Julia—gathered at Webster's new studio to celebrate the publication of her memoir-cum-scrapbook I was a Teenage Banshee. Unveiled alongside was the accompanying installation The Crime Scene, which consisted of memorabilia salvaged from her teenage bedroom. Arranged across a five-metre studio wall with each item linked, police–investigation style, by lengths of fluorescent-orange string, this reconstructed "crime scene" explores the interconnected events of Websters youth as a "Teenage Banshee". Heavily featured is the key role played by her early obsession with the band Siouxsie and the Banshees, whose front woman Siouxsie Sioux is considered "a surrogate mother" by Webster.
More than 300 early ephemera items are also reproduced in Websters book, where they illustrate her strikingly raw account of an often-fraught childhood. This includes being institutionalised in a mental health unit in her early teens, as well as providing a visual (and Siouxie-Sioux-dominated) narrative to her evolution as an artist. Webster started writing the book on a residency in Cornwall, after she had left her marital home within the distinctive David Adjaye-designed Dirty House in Shoreditch. She describes her venture onto the page as “like having a new material. Its my voice and I dont mind if it doesn't make sense, as its Read More – Source